July 16, 2010
Meghan Keith-Hynes works weekly in the garden she planted in her front yard, but she wants to have the option of allowing goats there too. As she walks us through her yard, she points out plants goats could chomp away, like poison ivy.
Goat advocates, like Keith-Hynes, first told their story to our partner publication, Edible Blue Ridge. On Monday they'll take their campaign to City Hall, where they'll appear before Charlottesville City Council.
The current City ordinance reads, "No goats shall be kept within the city." Keith-Hynes started the Charlottesville Goat Justice League to get that code reversed.
"I think it is a simple step Council can take for Charlottesville to promote itself as a green city," she said.
Similar steps have been taken in Seattle, and Keith-Hynes has a letter from the City Council president in Seattle. In the letter, the Seattle Council president explains that they've experienced very few problems or complaints since passing goat legislation.
The Goat Justice League is asking for City Council to allow up to three goats per residence. The goats would need to be miniature - weighing under 100 pounds - and all males must be neutered and de-horned. Nursing offspring would also be allowed, but only until the age of 12 weeks.
"If you can have a 100-pound Saint Bernard in the City of Charlottesville, why can't you have a 100-pound goat that makes delicious milk and goat cheese? It eats your invasive plants and makes compost for your garden. Why not?" said Keith-Hynes.
Keith-Hynes and the Goat Justice League have more than 400 signatures to back up their pleas for goat rights.
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